Fifty Shades of European Films

As the European Union gets bigger and bigger so does the AFI European Union Film Showcase . This year, some 50 films from 27 different European countries will be shown between December 5th – 22, 2013 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring. That’s 10 more than last year, and at least one film from every European country except Malta… Countries with large film industries, like France, Germany or the UK are represented with more than one film. And speaking of France… Here’s a schedule of French, French-language or somewhat related to France movies that will be shown during the two weeks festival:

  • La Tendresse (Belgium/France/Germany, in French with subtitles – Thursday December 12 @ 5:30PM; Friday December 13 @ 5:20PM; Sunday December 15 @ 7:45PM) a stripped down, sensitive family drama about a divided family forced to come together during a minor crisis.
  • L’Etrange Couleur des Larmes de ton Corps (Belgium/France/Luxembourg, in French, Flemish and Danish with English subtitles – Saturday December 14 @ 10:15PM, Thursday December 19 @ 9:35PM) this “art” film is probably not for everyone, with its close up shots and disorienting storyline…

AFI European Union Showcase 2013

  • Une Estonienne à Paris (France/Estonia/Belgium, in French and Estonian with English subtitles – Saturday December 7 @ 1:10PM, Tuesday December 10 @ 7:10PM) think Tatie Danielle, but with Jeanne Moreau as Frida, an elderly Estonian expat living in Paris and who is not thrilled about having to be looked after by an (also Estonian) caretaker.
  • Alceste a Bicyclette (France, in French with English subtitles, Friday December 6 @ 7:20PM, Sunday December 8 @ 5:30PM, Wedneday December 11 @ 5:20PM) I don’t even really need to know what this movie is about (though I assume bikes are involved and Moliere too since Alceste is the main character in his play The Misanthrope). Fabrice Luchini is in it, so it’s gotta be great film 😉
  • Le Passé (France/Italy, in Persian and French with English subtitle, Sunday December 8 @ 3:30PM) From the Iranian writer and screenwriter of (Oscar winning) A Separation comes another divorce, Iranian-style story. This time, it’s Marie, portrayed by The Artist’s Berenice Bejo, who needs a divorce from her estranged husband to marry her new love, Samir. Ahmad (the husband) flies to Paris from Tehran to finalize the divorce and becomes reintegrated into his soon to be ex-wife’s unconditional family structure.
  • Comme un Chef (France/Spain, in French with English subtitles, special presentation Friday December 13 @ 7:30Pm, also showing Sunday December 15 @ 4:15PM) It’s been a while since Jean Reno has been in a good movie, so I’m not sure what to expect of this one. Some critics say it’s pretty silly, others say it’s a decent comedy set in the Parisian culinary world… only one way to find out 😉
  • 2 Autumns, 3 Winters (France, in French with English subtitles, Friday December 20 @ 5:20PM and Sunday December 22 @ 7:40PM) is described as a melancomedie about hipster parisians in love with new wave inspired visuals… not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing though.
  • L’inconnu du Lac (France, in French with subtitles, Friday December 20 @ 10PM, Sunday December 22 @ 9:45PM) described as an erotic and lurid thriller, this film is a story of amour fou, with a dose of crime and lots of nude men…
  • Le Week-End (UK, in English, special presentation on Saturday, December 7 @8:30PM) this story of a british couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary with a romantic getaway to Paris, where they honeymooned looks absolutely adorable. Plus it’s set in Paris…

Of course, those are only a few of the 50 movies that will be shown as part of the AFI European Union Film Showcase. You can see a complete schedule here. Are you planning on seeing any films or have you seen some of the films that will be shown? I’d love to hear all about it…

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